The Holidays Are Upon Us–Prepare by Reading this Book!

The Skinny: How to Fit into Your Little Black Dress Forever by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson, Meredith Books, 2006.

Well, Thankgiving is next week. Kind of crept up on me, to be honest, as I’ve been somewhat consumed with all the other food events in my life going on right now. I don’t even know what my responsibilities are going to be for next Thursday, as my dear mother-in-law will be in charge of the meal and I’ll just do what she tells me to do. It’ll be our first TG here in the new space. Have to tell you, by the way, that this past weekend was the second retreat rehearsal of the year for the Cherry Creek Chorale and also the second one I put together in my beautiful little kitchen, and it again performed flawlessly. So nice and compact! And I still love my stove.

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How Many Seconds?

clockface with second handWe’re in the process of changing the title of this blog from “Intentional Happiness” to “Intentional Living,” and part of the reason I didn’t get much posted last week was because of that change—I wanted to have the new banner up. But that hasn’t happened yet; this post is about a week old. As I’ve continued to write on various subject of interest to me (and to you, I hope) I’ve realized that not everything I write falls neatly under the heading of happiness, and that my posts about food and books fit into this

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I Need Structure!

brick wall herringbone patternFor the past three years I’ve been involved with an organization that promotes Bible study and faith around the world, Bible Study Fellowship International. The procedures that BSF follows were originally developed by its founder, A. Wetherell Johnson, who had been a missionary to China for many years. She was asked to start a Bible study for a group of women in California, and the organization spread from there.

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Be Full of Desire but Easily Pleased–and Non-Judgmental

Man looking at moon with arms outstretchedIf you’ve taken my advice and subscribed to the “Happier” podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft, advice which I have given any number of times, then you have already heard this. But if you haven’t, or even if you have, then I’m passing some thoughts from this week’s episode along now with my own take added. (See note below on subscribing.)

Because, if you think about it, the description given in the title is the recipe for being a super-nice person who’s fun to have around. The point

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Yet Another Book about Personality Types

Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel, available in several formats, published Sept. 2017. Link is to the Amazon page; I mistakenly said in an earlier post that I could not include direct Amazon links in my reviews. Anne also has a very popular website, Modern Mrs. Darcy, which deals with, well, how to be a modern Elizabeth Bennet.

So last week’s book pick was the new Gretchen Rubin opus on her Four Tendencies framework; I hope you’ve read it by now. It is really, really good. I promise. And this week’s book was brought to my attention by Gretchen’s interview with its author, Anne Bogel. I am very sorry that I didn’t get in on the pre-order bonus that would have allowed me to get the audiobook and the paperback versions together for the price of one. Since I had an credit available I used that, but I wish I’d just bought the paperback or Kindle version.

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The Happiness of a Big Event

bowl of foodI have a separate blog called Intentional Hospitality, but my purpose in writing this post isn’t so much to give you recipes and timetables as to talk about a major source of happiness–and nervous breakdowns—in my life: throwing parties.

I have always liked to cook, going way back to my grade-school days. In fact, one of my fondest memories from about fourth grade is the time that my mom put me in charge of cooking dinner and I made everything from the

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A Followup to “Happiness”

Happy toddler in coveralls sitting in the grassSo, have you read or listened to Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After? C’mon–you need to! But in case you’re just not up for a whole book right now, here are two short web posts for you to try, one a formal book review on NPR and the other an interview with the author Heather Harpham on Gretchen Rubin’s website. I especially like the title of this second post: “”Habits of the Mind Far Outweigh Habits of the Body.”

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Where Do Our Emotions Come From?

Woman with her head in her handsI spend a couple of chapters in my book talking about this question, but I’ve had some experiences and run across some interesting material lately that is helpful in further clarifying the issue.

First, a small personal incident from last week. If you can remember back that far, the big issue was: “Is Kim Jong-un going to attack the US with his nuclear warheads? Are we

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The Joy of Competence

hairdresser styling hairIf I were to tell you about all the missteps we’ve had in our very simple renovation/remodel, this would be a very long post. Something seems to go wrong at every step of the way, whether it’s a mistake we make or one that a contractor makes. But we’re soldiering on. Today we finally get a working kitchen, as the (seemingly very competent) plumber is hooking up the faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher. The countertops came in on Monday, and even though they didn’t give us as much 

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Human Relationships Are Complicated!

This morning I feel so full up of things to say that it’s hard for me to focus on one, but I’ll try. What with the looming crisis with North Korea, the Charlottesville tragedy, and my own media intake via audiobook and film, there’s just a lot of ground to cover. All, really, have to do with how we humans get along with each other–or don’t. Those pesky relationships!

I’ll start with the audiobook, because it focuses on the “Jerusalem” of human experience: those who are closest to us. (If you’re not familiar with the reference, it comes from the book of Acts in the Christian New Testament, in which the disciples are told to be witnesses of the Gospel “in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” So it’s a set of concentric circles, starting with where they are and moving out. I’ve heard many a sermon emphasizing that we need to build relationships and witness with our nearest and dearest first. If we haven’t done that, we have no business saying that we’re going out to the “uttermost parts.”) 

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